On March 18, the Cleveland Browns said they would hold a private workout with West Virginia quarterback, Geno Smith. Browns CEO Joe Banner said that quarterback is not the main focus in the first round of the draft this year (especially after signing Jason Campbell and drafting Brandon Weeden last year), the team will still look at Smith when the Browns get their 30 pre-draft visits with players.
Among Smith the Browns will also bring in three defensive prospects in Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner, Oregon defensive end/outside linebacker Dion Jordan, and LSU‘s defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. The Browns hold the number sixth overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and will be looking for new pieces to fit into their defensive puzzle this April. Will one of these players be the sixth overall pick?
Dee Milliner is the top cornerback prospect in the draft this year. He ran the second fastest 40 time among cornerbacks at the combine in February (4.37). He stands at 5’11 and 200 pounds. In March, Milliner underwent surgery to repair his torn labrum. Milliner played with the injury last season. Milliner recorded 54 tackles, 20 breakups and two interceptions last season for the Crimson Tide.
Oregon’s Dion Jordan is a top pass rusher in the NFL Draft. Recorded 5 sacks last season and 14.5 sacks in the past three season. He can play defensive end or outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme. He stands at 6’6 and 280 pounds. Recorded 44 tackles (10.5 for a loss) last season for Oregon. He ran a 4.6 in the 40 yard dash at the combine. Jordan can cover tight ends and slot positions along with getting to the quarterback. Might be an addition to Paul Kruger who the Browns signed on March 12. Like Milliner, Jordan also went into surgery for a torn labrum. He says he should be healthy in about four months.
Tyrann Mathieu is projected to go in the second or third round, but when he is on the field, he was one of LSU’s most dominant players. In 2011, he led LSU with 70 tackles and forced six fumbles, recovering five. An SEC-high. In August, Mathieu was kicked off the team for repeated failed drug tests. Mathieu says he has been clean since October. He entered into a drug rehabilitation program. Mathieu said this: “Half of it, I think, is that you actually start believing the hype, believing the clippings. The other half, I think, is that you’re young and you want to have some fun.”
With the Cleveland Browns entering a draft where they need to find play-makers, they may just find that in one of these three players. The Browns finished 23rd in total defense in 2012, and they finished 25th against the pass. So it is no shock that they are looking for a play-maker and looking for a defensive back that can potentially take away one side of the football field. The cards are in the Browns’ hands. They could do a number of different things on draft day.